California Department Fish and Game officials will continue its investigation this week on what they believe are more than 5,000 marijuana plants found along the Cosumnes River between Galt and Thornton.
It appears that about a dozen people planted marijuana between the river and New Hope Road, east of Thornton, and set up campsites in a rural area near the river, according to Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game. Some of the plants are 10 to 12 feet high, Hughan said.
A Fish and Game warden on routine patrol discovered the pot plants late Thursday night and set up a group of officers to search the area, Hughan said. About mid-day Saturday, a warden saw a man with a 12-gauge shotgun on the property, so the warden pointed a gun at the suspect, who surrendered, Hughan said.
The man, whose name was not available Sunday, is 25 to 30 years old. He was booked at Sacramento County Jail.
There were as many as a dozen more people growing marijuana, but Fish and Game officials aren’t looking for them because they escaped and are believed to have left the area, Hughan said.
“They have scattered to the wind,” he said.
In addition to battling the war on drugs, Hughan said that toxic chemicals sprayed on the pot plants can be fatal to animals, especially deer, rabbits and raccoons, Hughan said. The chemicals can also get into the river and kill fish, he added.
Fish and Game officials will spend this week cleaning up what Hughan described as several thousand pounds of garbage, including eating utensils and generators.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.